Kenseth claims Busch victory with late pass
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"We had a really pushy race car all day long and I'm really surprised we won with it," said the 2003 Nextel Cup Series champion. "We had decent pit stops and we got the car dialed in. Its cool to bring the car to Victory Lane."
Busch was the early star leading 74 of the first 100 laps and a race-high 147 laps in all. But the youngster may have used up his car early as he was passed by both Kenseth and Hamilton Jr. late in the event.
Hamilton Jr. was the first to pass Busch and kept the top spot until he was passed by Kenseth in turn three of lap 195. Kenseth had been over six seconds behind the leaders following the final pit stops with 60 laps remaining.
Just moments after Kenseth made his pass, a caution came out as
The race was halted at that point until the track was cleared and the drivers prepared for a three-lap shootout to the checkered flag.
Kenseth got a great jump on the restart and Busch charged into second when Hamilton Jr. spun his tires.
"I had it in neutral at about 7000 rpms to get cool air and I went to take off and it just stumbled," said Hamilton Jr. "Its the same thing that happened in Kansas, but they will fix it. If not we'll keep losing races that way."
Robby Gordon and Johnny Benson finished third and fourth, respectively and Hamilton Jr. finished fifth.
The early portion of the race was marred by frequent cautions, including spins by J.J. Yeley and
Clint Bowyer, driving Richard Childress Racing's No.21 Chevrolet, spun into the outside wall on lap 32. It was a severe blow to the team's chances to repeat as owners champion. Bowyer finished 36th.
The next race in the Busch championship is scheduled for Saturday, April 10th at the Nashville Superspeedway.